Saturday, January 2, 2010

How River Ganga came to Earth

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a Pious, Fair and Kind King called Bhageeratha of Kosala. He was of the Surya Vansh and an ancestor of Lord Ram. His grandfather Sagara had performed the Ashvameda Yagna (where in a sacred horse was let loose after the Yagna and all the places the horse roamed would come under the performing king or if the horse is caught, then the catcher would have to war against the performer). But the sacred Horse disappeared suddenly and King Sagara asked his sixty thousand sons (:-O) to search and get the horse running again. The princes searched far and wide and finally found it tied next to where the Sage Kapila was doing his Penance. Tired and frustrated the princes accused the sage of being a thief, which angered him to no end and he promptly turned the princes to ashes.

Since the princes had died in sin, their souls were unable to enter heaven, this created such chaos in the Kingdom, that by the time Bhageeratha ascended the throne, he was hard put to do something.

The Pious King discussed with the great sages for a solution and was told that only can cleansing the dead's ashes in the River Ganga would allow the restless souls to enter the Heaven.

Now, everyone knows that Ganga, the daughter of Brahma (the creater) was a vain lady and bringing her down to earth had two problems. She was happy where she was and was not interested in coming down to earth and encouraging her to come would take years of penance and even if she agreed, her power would be so great that the earth would not be able to bear her fall.

Not knowing what to do, the great King prayed to Shiva and Brahma to help him out of this tangle. Pleased by Bhageerath's obvious bhakti and determination, the two Gods agreed. Forced by her father to go down to earth, Ganga thundered down in a mighty fall, when Lord Shiva appeared just below the flow and caught her in his locks, breaking her fall.

Thus forced out of her power and vanity, it is said Ganga then followed Bhageerth docilely, washing through his ancestors ashes, cleansing them off their sins and letting them enter the Heavens. And this is how the mighty River Ganga came to Earth


  1. Hi Sanjana, I'm Hasitha from Sri Lanka. I read your blog. it's so interesting. keep writing. congrats for your writing skills :)